The Houston Astros' franchise record win streak was in serious jeopardy, or at least it seemed that way on Monday night. That was before the magic that led them to a World Series title, and another successful season this year took over. Alex Bregman connected with a walk-off two-run double, as the Astros tied a franchise record with their 12th straight win, 5-4., over the Tampa Bay Rays. Bregman's hit came with one out in the final inning, as the Astros scored five unanswered to rally from a 4-0 deficit at home. They faced that deficit after just three innings, but Sergio Romo struggled in the ninth to give up the lead and suffer his second loss. Marwin Gonzalez, Max Stassi, and George Springer all reached base to load the bases before Bregman's heroic hit to left-center field. That was good for Houston's second walk-off win of the season, both of which have come off the bat of Bregman, who also had one on April 7th against the San Diego Padres. The third baseman also had a walk-off base hit in Game 5 of the World Series last year against the Los Angeles Dodgers, so he has been a consistently clutch batter for the defending champs. Collin McGugh improved to 2-0 after striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning, as the Astros overcame Gerrit Cole's career-high five walks. Their 12th straight win ties the franchise mark that was set in 1999 and 2004, as they became the first team since the 2002 Oakland Athletics to record a walk-off victory for at least a 12th straight win. They will go for their 13th in a row to set the franchise record when Justin Verlander takes the mound on Tuesday night.
Barry Trotz Steps Down After Stanley Cup Win
The franchise's first Stanley Cup Championship has had the Washington Capitals in constant celebration for the last two weeks, but now they are in a state of confusion and shock. That is because of the news on Monday afternoon that head coach Barry Trotz is resigning from that position. Trotz released a statement on Monday, thanking the organization for everything they've done for him in his four years with the team, citing the one goal he had with his team, which was bringing the Cup to the nation's capital. He did just that on June 7th in Game 5 against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, but there were reports that there was no contract yet for Trotz beyond this season. It was negotiated in 2014 that he would receive a two-year contract extension with a Stanley Cup win, but there was no word on that going through following the big victory at T-Mobile Arena. Trotz and the Capitals' organization had reportedly attempted to re-negotiate that extension after the likes of Mike Babcock and Joel Quenneville earned massive deals as head coaches. The two sides were unable to agree on a restructured deal, as the 55-year-old coach was very open about the attempt to work on a new contract. Trotz has gone 205-89-34 in four years with the team, which is the best record in that span. He is now the first active coach to not return to the team after a Stanley Cup win since Mike Keenan left the New York Rangers in 1994. There is no doubt that Trotz is looking for a similar deal that Babcock and Quenneville received, as the rumors have already begun that he could be heading to the New York Islanders, which is the only NHL team without a current head coach.
Nationals Bring in Herrera From Kansas City
The Washington Nationals have had a hard time keeping up with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East, including head-to-head struggles in late-game situations. With that in mind, it only makes sense that they boosted their bullpen on Monday by acquiring Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals for three minor league players. Herrera has recorded 14 saves with a 1.05 ERA, while striking out 22 batters over 25.2 innings this season. He has walked just two batters all season long, as he seems to only be getting better after recording a career-high 26 saves in 2017. This move gives the Nationals multiple options at the back-end of their bullpen, as Sean Doolittle has done a nice job in the closer role. Doolitte has 18 saves in 19 opportunities, along with a 1.47 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 30.2 innings. Before the talks even try to begin, there is no type of drama about this trade, as the Nats' closer called the move "awesome" in between games with the New York Yankees at Nationals Park. The Royals are receiving outfielder Blake Perkins, third baseman Kelvin Guttierez, and right-handed pitcher Yohanse Morel in the trade. Guttierez is the oldest at 23 years old and was the 10th-ranked prospect in the Nationals' farm system. Perkins is 21 and is hitting .236 with 11 doubles in 63 games at Class-A ball. Meanwhile, Morel is just 17 years old and was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Nats in 2017. Washington sits in a tie for second in the NL East with the Philadelphia Phillies, 3.5 games back of the Braves after splitting a doubleheader with the Yankees. They will play host to the Baltimore Orioles beginning on Tuesday night.